Australia's most exclusive Yacht Club with a membership of just ONE !
(don't spoil it by joining!)

Strict dress codes apply:

Life-jacket and tie for gentlemen and inflatable bikinis for ladies.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nelligen Yacht Clubhouse


With the help of the very much alive Troy of Nelligen and the long-dead Pythagoras of Samos, I've laid out the foundation of the club house for the Nelligen Yacht Club.

The foundations are 6 x 6 metres, and rather than buying a giant carpenter's square, I fell back on Pythagoras' 3:4:5 triangle to ensure all four corners are an exact 90°:

First measure along one edge 3 feet. Then measure along the adjacent edge 4 ft. If the diagonal is 5 feet, then the triangle is a 3:4:5 right triangle and, by definition, the corner is square. Of course, any multiples of 3,4,5 can be used, for example 6,8,10, whatever is convenient at the time.

The work will continue after Christmas. Watch this space!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Position Report SV SETTLEMENT


SV SETTLEMENT (as in divorce ☺ ) at Wanim Island in Papua New Guinea.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

FOR SALE: South Coast Waterfront Property



Absolute waterfrontage - no public access! Enjoy sailing, swimming, and fishing at your doorstep! The sense of peace and tranquillity is absolute: no traffic, no noise, no "next-door" neighbours, and never to be built out! Go to


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It couldn't be easier!

We all use the Alan Lucas Cruising Guides. If your copy is out-of-date, you can easily update it here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

First in, best dressed

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ode to a Jet-Ski Person

Jet-ski person, selfish fink,
May your silly jet-ski sink,
May you hit a pile of rocks,
Oh hoonish, summer, coastal pox.

Noisy, smoking, dickhead fool
On your loathsome leisure tool,
Give us all a jolly lark
And sink beside a hungry shark.

Scream as in its fangs you go,
Your last attention-seeking show,
While on the beach we all join in
With 'Three cheers for the dorsal fin!'

Thank you, Michael Leunig; I couldn't have said it better myself!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pox on you!

* Alan Luxton is a volunteer guide with the Devonport Maritime Museum

The following article appeared in the AFLOAT Magazine:

When I was a boy, and first heard about the Mutiny, I was told the reason for it was the charms of the Tahitian ladies. And that Bligh, the captain of the Bounty was a tyrant, and that he was over fond of the use of the lash. If that was the case then why did Fletcher Christian sign on in the first place, as he would have known exactly what Bligh was like, having been on two long voyages to the West Indies with him under his command before? If the lure of the Tahitian ladies was so great, then why did he wait 23 days after leaving Tahiti to mutiny?

Fletcher Christian was 24 years old at the time of the mutiny. Bligh had made him an acting lieutenant earlier; the Admiralty would have promoted him to full lieutenant when he got back to England. He came from a respectable family that lived on the Isle of Man. The family had good connections with the powers that be. Fletcher was after all six years younger than Admiral Lord Nelson. He could have had a fantastic career in the navy, and who knows he could have become a national hero.

No, there has to be some other reason for it.

The Bounty left England two days before Christmas 1787, its mission was to collect breadfruit plants in Tahiti and take them to the West Indies. So the African slaves there would have something to eat.

Earlier that same year in May the first fleet left for Australia. One of the 11 ships was the Lady Penryhn carrying female convicts, also on board was Lieutenant John Watts.

The first fleet arrived at Port Jackson which is now called Sydney on 26 January 1788. Lady Penryhn after unloading left on 5th of May 1788 with the intentions of sailing to China and picking up a cargo of tea to take back to England via the Horn.

They arrived in Tahiti about the middle of July, suffering badly from scurvy and John Watts reports in his log that a great number of natives had been carried off by the venereal disease. This was his second visit to the Island. So he should know.

The first ship to visit Tahiti was the Dolphin under the command of Samuel Wallis in 1767. Next was a French ship under the command of Louis Bougainville in 1768. Then Cook in 1769 on Endeavour, and the Resolution in 1775 and 1777. William Bligh was sailing master and John Watts was a midshipman on this last voyage of James Cook.

Three months or so after Lady Penryhn left Tahiti the Bounty arrived. This is how Bligh described the women of Tahiti.

“They are handsome, mild and cheerful in their manners and conversation. Possessed of great sensibility and have sufficient delicacy to make them admired and beloved. They were also by European standards not only very beautiful, but sexually uninhibited and experienced in ways that amazed their English visitors. Even the mouths are not exempt from the pollution and many others as uncommon ways have they of gratifying their beastly inclinations.”

Many of Bounty’s crew formed attachments with the native Tahitian girls; five at least had children born there. Fletcher Christian had a girlfriend her name was Mauatua Maimiti Mainmast Isabella.

Bounty spent about six months there and left on the 5th of April. Loaded up with 1015 breadfruit plants. The mutiny was on the 28th.

Bligh and 18 others were cast adrift in the Bounty’s launch leaving 25 remaining on board. They then set sail to find a new home. They found Tubuai and tried to settle there, it wasn’t a success. A collective decision was made to return to Tahiti. When the Bounty arrived back 16 went ashore. The Bounty then left with Fletcher Christian and eight other mutineers, some natives, and Mauatua on board to find a new home.

Christian had found on Bligh’s charts Pitcairn Island. But when they got to the position marked on the chart, it wasn’t there. They eventually found it 180 miles west of where it was wrongly charted. It was the 15th of January 1790. Mauatua and Fletcher landed with their three months old new born son. His name was Thursday October Christian. There were five Thursdays in October 1789. So for argument sake let’s pick the first one, the 1st. Pregnancies are 40 weeks, so copulation was on 25th December 1788. That’s two months after the Bounty arrived. What a Christmas present he gave her, and she him of course. There was no such thing as condoms in those days. When Mauatua realised she was pregnant, she refused to have any more sex with Fletcher. He didn’t have to look very far for someone else.

Books I’ve read state that Thursday was born on Pitcairn Island in 1790. But I dispute this because Fletcher isn’t going to wait 14 months to have sex with Mauatua. That’s just not on.

The first to discover the mutineers’ hide-away was the American ship Topaz in February 1808. Only one of the mutineers was still alive then John Adams. The Topaz captain Mayhew Folger states in his log that the children on the island ranged between one week and 18 years old. If Thursday was born in 1790 as the books claim, he would have been only 17 then.

The Bounty left Tahiti on the 5th of April. Bligh says that Christian had to be treated for ‘venereals’ in Tahiti. He doesn’t say what that treatment was, but I think it involved a syringe and mercury. What good it did him I can’t say, I’m inclined to say no good at all. Incidentally at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney they have a pewter syringe, it could be the very one the surgeon Ledward used in Tahiti. Who knows?

Fletcher realised the disease he had caught was incurable. He could see from the local natives what was going to be in store for him in later life. That’s why at the time of the mutiny when Bligh asked him “What’s the meaning of this?” He replied, “I am in hell, I am in hell.”

I mentioned earlier that Fletcher had two nicknames he used to call Mauatua. Mainmast, probably because she was tall and thin. But why call her Isabella? That was because it that was the name of his girl friend back in England. Fletcher was so embarrassed, and ashamed he couldn’t possibly go back home and face her in his condition.

When Bligh made it back to England and told the Admiralty of the mutiny, they sent Pandora out to arrest the mutineers. They arrested 14, and on their way home hit the Great Barrier Reef and 31 of the crew and four of the mutineers were drowned. Pandora’s doctor George Hamilton said, “The ladies of Tahiti had left us many warm tokens of their affections.”

John Adams, who gave a false name when he first signed on, gives conflicting stories of the death of Fletcher Christian. The one I believe is the one that the second mate of the Topaz found out, that he went mad and jumped off a cliff. This disease in its advanced form can affect the brain. Mauatua was still alive then, in fact she lived till 1831, and if she was the same age as Fletcher, then that would make her 77 years old. Because she lived that long, I deduce she never had the dreadful disease.

There was another person on board Bounty that was particularly friendly with Christian. A distant relation of his, he was also from the Isle of Man. He was a gentleman midshipman by the name of Peter Heywood. He was one of the 10 who made it back to England. At his trial he was found guilty and sentenced to be hung. He had some powerful friends too, who managed to persuade the King to pardon him.

It turns out that the last time Heywood and Christian spoke to each other was at Tahiti. Christian gave him a message, probably only for the ears of Isabella, and Peter vowed to keep it a secret forever. This he did.

We now know what that secret was.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Holiday Accommodation Batemans Bay

It's amazing how quickly the search engines pick up new blog entries. Why not spread the word about "Riverbend Cottage" this way? So if you've just now GOOGLEd for 'Holiday Accommodation Batemans Bay", please read on:

There is a marvellous amount of nothing to do at Riverbend on the beautiful Clyde River. Eating well, sleeping soundly and moving about in beautiful surroundings is a therapy for which many return year after year.

Escape the stresses and excesses of urban life! Come to "Riverbend" and rediscover what you've always known - that simple pleasures are the best.

Some places have waterviews, others are close to the water. Riverbend Cottage has absolute deepwater river frontage along its whole seven acres. You are so close to the water's edge that for environmental reasons we had to build the modern bathroom a few metres away from the cottage (very romantic on a starlit night!)

For more of this 'infomercial', click here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Villa Mamana

Steve Gates, with whom Joe is still in contact and whom he describes as "a nice man, doing what I wish I could do", arrived on Telekivava'u in November 2003 and was the island's longest-serving caretaker, staying there for three to four years. Afterwards he lived for some more years in Vava'u which he has left only recently by boat. He called in at Telekivava'u again and is now somewhere in Melanesia. In 2007, a couple, Claudia & Roland Pizarro, were the island caretakers; Roland Schwara followed in 2008.

From the log of the yacht Sloupmouche, dated 21 November 2004:"Visited Telekivava'u, a private resort island. We met Steve, an American on a trimaran, who sailed from Hawaii to be the manager/caretaker of this resort just bought by a friend there. This small luxurious resort was built 7-8 yrs ago by a German married to a Tongan wife. Spent time and money to build something fancy to accommodate 4 persons, never got any paying guests as the logistics are quite difficult, the nearest airport being 45 miles away with only a small lagoon-type boat to ferry the guests! It can be quite rough and the seas may be too big for a trip to the resort so the guests would be stuck on the airport island instead! The German, with the excuse that he wanted his kids to go at school in Nukualofa, the capital, sold the resort to that American who fell for the dream of owning an island resort in beautiful Tonga. It's been over a year now and he slowly realises that the project is costing him a lot of money and not being that wealthy, he may decide soon to either get partners in his private island or to sell out. Needless to say that he didn't get any paying guest so far either!"

From the logbook of the yacht HARMONICA which anchored off Telekivava'u in October 2005: "The clearest water we found was probably off the "resort island" of Telekivavau. The term Resort Island could be misleading since the last guest checked out nearly 6 months earlier. A caretaker lives there on his own and takes care of the lovely building and keeps the grass lawn cut. He (Steve from Hawaii) seemed glad to have company for the 2 days we spent anchored inside his reef and twice he joined us for supper on board Harmonica, and we joined him for sunset drinks on the north beach where we could watch the large flying foxes (fruit bats) desperately flapping from one island to the next, and the frigate birds harassing boobies for food."

I've just received this email from Joe (Jörg) in Berlin:

Hi Peter,
I lost Horst's email address - horstberger??@??. Do you have it? Do you know if he sometimes checks it?
Regards from a very chilly Berlin,
Joe & Lola (formerly residents of Telekivava'u Island, Ha'apai)
Hotel Pension Senta
Bundesallee 137, 12161 Berlin
Telefon: +49 (0)30 - 850 73 73
Fax: +49 (0)30 - 852 11 66

I first heard about Joe when I visited Tonga in 2006 and quite by chance met Horst Berger who had stayed at Joe's property, Villa Mamana, on tiny Telekivava'u Island for several months.

Joe had come to Tonga in 1994 following a royal visit to Germany by the late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV. during which the king had invited German citizens to come and live and invest in his tiny kingdom. Joe, a pilot, had been looking for the right place to start his seaplane business in an island country with many islands and sandy beaches with shallow lagoons. He thought the Maldives were too Islamic, the Bahamas too screwed up, Fiji too Indian, but Tonga just right: very authentic, relatively untouched, with nice people and beautiful weather, and foreign investment officially welcomed.

Teleki'vavau, second from left, from the air

Joe and Lola at Villa MamanaHowever, with the Government delaying the issuing of an operating license for his seaplane. he and his by now Tongan wife Lola decided to wait and in the meantime started to build in 1997, as a support business to their original plans, Villa Mamana on Telekivava'u where he secured three leases of "tax apis" of 20 years each. It took him two years to get his first lease - with almost no bribes paid!

He had picked Telekivava'u "... because of its natural lagoon, which made it suitable for landing a seaplane (about one metre water depth at low tide). The distance from Nuku'alofa was also good (too far by boat, not too far for a seaplane with regards to fuel - one return trip on one filling). It is also one of the most beautiful islands in Tonga. It has not only coconut trees and bushes, but still has a substantial amount of big, old leaf trees. Turtles lay their eggs on the island, and it also has a huge bird population whereas on other islands birds have a hard time due to humans, cats, rats & pigs. Untouched diving and fishing grounds; people from neighbouring islands still use outrigger canoes. Picture-perfect island in the truest sense of our romantic ideas of the South Seas."

For the next four years he created, single-handedly with just the occasional help from some local fishermen, this most exquisite resort. The villa was finished in 2000, the other two houses a bit later, although, as Joe admits, "any building in a tropical environment is never finished as once the last nail is in, the first one needs replacing."

It must've been a labour of love because the logistics and the costs to transport material and build on this tiny and remote island must have been quite daunting. He bought the furniture and the marble and tiles and fittings for the bathrooms from Indonesia, the timber and roofing from the USA, and the rest in New Zealand and Tonga. Finally, he was able to welcome his first $500-a-day paying guests as well as Astrid and Martin, two non-paying "Weltenbummler", from whom he hoped to receive some much-needed publicity.

As Joe writes today: "Of course, I knew about some of the challenges before we started, and also knew that I would run into a million more down the road, but difficult things are not accomplished by the doubtful. So I figured I would deal with the problems as they come along, and not let the fear of the unknown problems spoil my dream. I also knew that I would need a lot of luck for things to go my way, as you always need to be successful (and lucky I was on many occasions). I was also single and young - why not try to start what you always dreamed of then? I would not attempt anything like that today with my family to look after, but at the time it made sense to me."

Villa Mamana

But, as he now recalls, "a lot of things also changed in Tonga which put the brakes on the whole tourism sector: Royal Tongan Airlines was about to go under, tour operators left Tonga, the Chinese came, etc etc. Marketing was not so much a concern as was transportation. Flight schedules to Pangai changed weekly, as did those of flights into Tonga, which scared the tour operators away. Overnight accommodation in Pangai and Nuku'alofa had become a disaster, and prices went up, especially petrol for our boats. I should have had a partner or two from the start, but, on the other hand, all partnerships of this sort that I have witnessed ended up either in tears or in court, or both. I would not mind living on an island again, but doing business in a banana monarchy is a different story. I would rather live a simple and quiet life on an island off my savings than trying to to be the binding link between this world and the one in the islands. Besides the hassle with corruption at every corner, you end up having to explain to the natives what your guests expect (cleanliness, punctuality, dependability), and to your guests you have to explain that their expectations of the South Seas have little to do with reality (e.g. bugs, boredom if there is no bungy-jumping, no topless girls, no low-fat milk, no cable television). And that on a daily basis. Backpackers are the worst! Their expectations are often the highest. They usually first try to get the €10 dorm bed for €5 because in Thailand it only costs pennies; then they explain to you how to solve the country's problems; they don't eat the banana because it does not have a label with a list of ingredients; they all need internet access; they waste energy and water; they are generally more interested in discussing the last stop on the backpacker trail around the globe than in this country and its people; and in the end they ruin your business with comments on the internet because someone ate their can of spaghetti."

Eventually, in 2002, with few guests and with their two children needing schooling, Joe and Lola decided to sell Villa Mamana for US$495,000 "before the thing would slip out of our hands", and moved to the main island Tongatapu, where there was little else to do but grow some vanilla and look after some cows and papaya plants.


The Villa Mamana is situated on deserted Telekivava'u Island in the South Seas last kingdom, the Kingdom of Tonga, 37 nautical miles south of Pangai with its regional airport. This almost untouched part of Polynesia offers all the lonely island cliche could suggest: crystal clear waters, rich marine life, lush tropical vegetation, an authentic culture, and absolute peace of mind. The Villa (built in 1999)is right at the white beach and the shallow lagoon which surrounds the island. 3000 sq/ft of villa hold 2 1/2 bedrooms with ensuite marble bathrooms, the great room, two huge decks (which become part of the great room with the french doors opened), and a porch. All facing west to ensure beautiful sunsets over the warm South Pacific Ocean. High ceilings, wooden floors, teak furniture, and the light reflecting from the lagoon give the colonial style building its special charm. Amenities include: TV, VCD, Stereo, Satellite Phone, Fans, Washer, Workshop, Fishing Gear, etc Further down the beach you will find the kitchen house of 700 sq/ft(fully equipped)with a studio, and a smaller house (500sq/ft)which is ideal as caretaker quarter. Included in sale are also a 40ft motor yacht, a 27ft gamefishing power boat, a runabout, and utilities like: Two diesel gensets. Two inverters Two battery banks Solar pannels Desalination system Watertank and much more.

A couple of Americans from Hawai'i, Kendall Struxness (who died in April 2011 of colon cancer) and another one, Matt Muirhead, bought Villa Mamana. They continued to advertise the resort via their website which has since gone 'off the air'.

From Villa Mamana's original website

Roland SchwaraThis travel blog, written (in German) in April 2008 by Sandra and Thomas, two Swiss visitors to Ha'apai, mentions Loli (or Lolani, Roland Schwara) , a German who'd come out to Tonga in the mid-1990s, operated a diving school in Ha'apai and was then employed as caretaker at US$3,000 a month by Villa Mamana's new American owners who visited no more than two or three times a year for just a few days. Loli was making his once-a-month three-hour round-trip to Pangai, the administrative centre of Ha'apai, which, at 30 knots, cost 100 litres/hour of fuel, or US$600. At $1,500 a night, he only had three paying guests at Villa Mamana in the last 1-1/2 years and perhaps felt a bit lonely because he invited our Swiss travellers to stay on the island for a month for free and even offered them a few months' paid work as relieving caretakers!

According to a passing yachtie's blog dated 24 July 2010, "Telekivava'u used to have a one guest house resort on it but the people have left and everything is boarded up, but we managed to tap into one of the water tanks and catch up on washing again. The front of the guest house looked lovely with all our washing strung between the coconut trees out front. There were green bananas and papayas, beans growing along the ground but nothing ripe yet."

And now Joe and Lola have returned to Germany and operate a 'Hotel-Pension' in the centre of Berlin! What I like to know is how somebody who's lived for over a decade in the South Seas can put up with the cold and crammed lifestyle in Germany? As he writes, "We all had the best time of our lives on the island, and will always miss it - unless we find another island and build a 'Villa Mamana Lite' just for us."

Joe tells me he still owns a 5% share in Villa Mamana but 5% of nothing isn't much because, unless the place is constantly maintained, that's exactly what will be left of Joe's dream: NOTHING!

Which leaves him to ruminate, "Seeing or hearing about the decline of the buildings on MY island is never a pleasure. I/we rather keep the place in our memories as it once was." When asked if he would ever write about his fascinating life on Telekivava'u, Joe admits that "... I have been thinking of writing a book about our time on the island, but so far have not been able to. Life goes on and a lot of stories simply fade from your memory, which makes the task even more difficult. And right now, I simply don't have the time. I should go and see Horst one day to help me refresh my memory a little."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Vada a bordo, cazzo!"

An Australian company,, is selling T-shirts quoting the now famous tirade against the "coward captain" of the Costa Concordia.

The shirts carry the phrase "Vada a bordo, cazzo!" - which translates to "Get back on board, d...!" - from the audio recording of a heated exchange between harbour master Gregorio de Falco and captain Francesco Schettino.

De Falco was ordering the captain to return to his ship - and has now gained hero status for his tirade.

Batemans Bay's very own Costa Concordia

Click on image for a BEFORE picture

Portugese maritime history went straight to the bottom of Batemans Bay when yacht Vale De Moura sunk early yesterday morning. The Vale De Moura is the last survivor of a fleet of traditional, sail-powered vessels that worked commercially on and around the west coast of Portugal. Built in 1956, the yacht carried salt to fishing boats in Portugal before it was fitted with a motor and taken to Germany.

For more than a decade, the Vale de Moura was little more than a tourist icon ship-wrecked at The Wharf, Mooloolaba, Queensland, but in early 2005 the now 56-year-old wooden boat, which circumnavigated the globe twice in its heyday, was been given a second chance after a pirate story curtailed its first adventures in Australia.

Customs officials impounded the 72-foot sailing vessel when it sailed into Mooloolaba in 1994 as they didn't believe the Austrian captain who said he sailed it from Europe single-handedly. They thought he had killed all his crew. The Vale de Moura was impounded for three years and was then sold to a Perth businessman who had dreams of restoring it. Years passed while the boat languished at the Mooloolaba Wharf.

That was until John and Krystina Mackintosh from Batemans Bay spotted it while holiday on the Sunshine Coast in 2004. They thought it would be wonderful to restore and so Mr Mackintosh gathered his sailing friends, Tony Sutton, Peter Walsh and Bob Beresford, called the Four Buccaneers, bought it and sailed it to its new home in Batemans Bay. The Vale De Moura had been moored in the Bay since then.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Position Report TEKANI II

"I am flying back to Cairns on Monday for about 10 days before returning to Mooloolaba where T2 is in a marina berth still waiting for repairs to the Paguro genset.

The first and only electrical engineers who have ever seen one of these Italian exotica have convinced me that the original installation of the unit by what can only be described as a rogue installer is the cause of its litany of faults and failures. The exhaust system, as it presently exists, guarantees that a backflow of hot, saltwater-saturated exhaust gas into the engine will corrode and permanentlydamage the piston, cylinder liner, valves and associated parts etc.

Dismantling has confirmed all of the above and I am informed that the engine can be rebuilt and repaired and the exhaust train can be altered to prevent it all happening again.

Not the fault of Geoff Benson, the previous owner who bought the machine from its Australian importers and used an installer recommended by them. Previous contacts with the manufacturers and their distributor do not inspire much confidence that they will accept any responsibility for all this and a warranty claim is unlikely to succeed after all this time, but watch this space."

Friday, February 3, 2012

For sale: Waterfront Property "Riverbend" near Batemans Bay

You have to live somewhere - it may as well be Paradise!

Here's a bit of an advertisement on my own behalf: the sale of our 7-acre-plus property "Riverbend" with almost 400 metres of absolute waterfront near Batemans Bay on the South Coast of New South Wales. For more information go to

It's the sort of property that is usually passed down the family as there are only a few like it on the Clyde River. I have been here for 18 years and for me it's time to move on - regrettably! - as we plan to live for part of the year in Kalimantan (Borneo) in Indonesia which makes it near-impossible to also maintain such a large property this far south.

The price - for those who can afford it - is very realistic as nearby unimproved waterfront blocks just 1500 square metres in size and with as little as 19 metres of waterfront have recently sold for $750,000. By contrast, "Riverbend" consists of eight titles, comprising approx. 29,200 square metres (see map), is on sale for $2 million, lock, stock and barrel. For those who feel a little financially challenged, I can offer very substantial vendor's finance on below-bank finance terms.

If you're interested, contact me by email to


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Position Report TEKANI II

"Greetings all from Mooloolaba where T2 is now moored after an uneventful sail down from Tin Can bay. The Wide Bay Bar behaved itself apart from producing a solitary green sea over the bow in 5 meters just before reaching the deep water.
The 55-mile leg from there to here was completed in yacht salesmens' weather. 15 knots on the beam all the way and we anchored in the Mooloolah river at 9 pm.

Lawries Marina is full with no available berths, so T2 will be in the yacht club marina for the next 3 weeks while the fate of the temperamental Paguro genset is decided.

I will be flying back to Cairns in about a week's time to attend to a few meetings which require my presence, then it will be back to M'aba to continue south. This end of Queensland is a better place to be at this time of the year."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Position Report TEKANI II

TEKANI II at Muddy Bay

"Navigation, sail changes, engine maintenance, etc. are all part of the rich tapestry of the cruising life, but an iced-up freezer willl eventually get your attention - a squeak like a gecko caught in an electric fan which I had been ignoring (as you do) got so loud that I finally identified it ... the fan blades were fighting a losing battle with an iced-up wireguard and there could be only one end, with ransom money for Wayne or Charlie from Ice Cold Refrigeration ooming - no worries:

!. Unload freezer and put contents into supermarket freezer bags.

2. Point $15 fan-heater into freezer, turn it on and stand back.

3. Pour a small scotch, and wait 20 mins by which time all traces of ice, frost, cold etc. will have disolved into H2O.

4. Reverse 3.2. & 1.

5. Put everything back and turn freezer on.

Works for me ☺ "

Monday, January 9, 2012

Position Report TEKANI II

Paguro means Hermit Crab. Makes sense! ☺

"Paguro Genset update

This will be the last time I bore you all with the ongoing problems of this piece of Italian exotica - promise.

A diesel engineer and a marine electrician came on board this morning and after an exhaustive series of tests and experiments, both agreed that the machine was impossible to either start or run in its present condition. Neither was prepared to attempt to work on it further
in situ and the only alternative offer was to unbolt the entire unit, including the separate water-cooled inverter, and dismantle the whole thing on the work bench.

Since the nearest spare parts are in Brisbane, or more likely in Milan, we agreed that this was better left until T2 reaches Mooloolaba, within striking distance of Brisbane where the agents are based.

The boat is still fully operational without it, so this is what I've decided to do.

Time for a scotch.........or two X;{"

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Position Report TEKANI II

"This Google earth image from 2009 shows the bottom end of Curtis Island as it was then. It's now a major construction site for the world's biggest liquid natural gas terminal which will join the other huge ship-loading terminals already here.
I could hear thumps from pile-drivers and see the dust cloud as I passed it on my way to Gladstone Marina on the other side of the harbour.

Gladstone is busy 24/7 with what seems to be every available fast ferry, barge, dredge, workboat and tug in Queensland cris-crossing its waters,all human activity thereon defined by the fluorescent orange and yellow neck-to-knee clothing and compulsory hard hats now demanded by BigBrother for workers who survived in shorts and thongs in the bad old days.

If I was job hunting, (I'm not!), this would be the place to be for an octogenarian ships master, but spare a thought for Curtis Island as it was 25 years ago. Ivy and I found the wreck of a deserted farmhouse there with the remains of a Ford T, a couple of steam-powered tractors and other relics rusting away untouched. Wonder what happened to them?"

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Position Report TEKANI II

"The Cattle Crossing at Curtis Island Narrows. Tekani II was here earlier today. They walk cattle across at low tide when it dries right out. The sounder said 1.9 metres at 6 AM which left 0.5m under the keel. Not recommended for anyone with blood pressure problems.

We are now in Gladstone and an electrical engineer will be on board on Monday to fix the genset.....or else!'

Friday, January 6, 2012

"ROXXAN" arrives!

The 46-foot ferrocement Hartley Tahitian-design ketch "ROXXAN" anchored off the Nelligen Yacht Club yesterday. As Commodore and only member of the Club, I rowed out to welcome them.

On board was a family of five from the little inland town of Cobargo who had bought the boat quite recently in Sydney and had it sailed down the coast by its previous owner. The new owners have never sailed a boat before - let alone owned one - but are keen to learn.

"Roxxan" is now permanently moored in the Batemans Bay estuary which means a 1-1/2 hour drive for them every time they want to go sailing!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Catamaran "RUSH" of Pittwater in Sydney ...

... came in on last night's tide and anchored a short distance upriver from "Riverbend". Of course, I rowed out to meet skipper Allan and his companion Kath and welcomed them to the Nelligen Yacht Club.

"RUSH" has been Allan's permanent home for some years and he's taken her all over the world, to Fiji, to Tonga, and as far north as Norway. Now he's on his way to Tasmania.

The rainy weather was no inducement for them to stay. They left at first light, well before I could take a happy snap for the Club's blog.

Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw!